Birth Defects Program

Rhode Island began developing a birth defects information system in 2000 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Director of Health appointed the Rhode Island Birth Defects Advisory Council in 2003 to advise the Department on the system and recommend which birth defects should be reported


To improve birth outcomes by identifying and monitoring birth defects prenatally and in children up to five years old among Rhode Island maternal residents, and to ensure that these children receive appropriate preventive, specialty and other services on a timely basis.

What We Do

  • Collaborate: Work closely with state agencies, healthcare providers, community organizations, parents and other key stakeholders; to create a more effective surveillance system and information strategies.
  • Case Identification and Data: Identify children with birth defects and monitor prevalence trends;
  • Prevention: Coordinate and develop effective strategies for primary and secondary prevention of birth defects;
  • Service Linkage and Referral: Assure that children with birth defects and their families are linked to and receive appropriate services on a timely basis;
  • Education and Dissemination: Assure that healthcare providers, professionals and families have access to information regarding birth defects